Posts Tagged With: volunteer

A huge thanks to our dedicated volunteers!

NVW_2013_SG_hi_res

Over the last year we have had over 20 volunteers donate their time and skills to Aware, allowing us to achieve some amazing outcomes. This week Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week and Aware would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers for helping Aware grow in 2012 and 2013.

With the help and commitment of our volunteers Aware launched two new and ongoing projects in 2012 – Wool for Women and Creative Sparks.

Aware now works to strengthen the sustainable livelihoods of an inspiring group of Cambodian women, with our project Wool for Women, and we are continuing to build our relationship with partner organisation Dorsu.

Creative Sparks has been a successful introduction to working in the Australian context and has allowed us to engage with many more Melbourne based volunteers whilst enabling Aware to broaden its partnership base locally and see the smiles on the faces of many new participants.

The growing size of our volunteer base has increased our fundraising capacity to nearly double our revenue over the last two years. Tireless fundraising efforts allow us to run the programs that we do, the value of fundraising support cannot be overstated.

Our new volunteer board members have been working hard to develop a (soon to be finished) 3-year strategic plan. The first steering document of its type for Aware, this will allow us to grow sustainably in the years to come.

We have also been lucky enough in the last year to be offered the probono help of many professionals to help us work on branding, marketing, communications, fundraising, internet presence and data management.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time to Aware over the last year. We are a small organisation with limited resources and your flexibility, adaptability and capacity to work within constraints is admirable.

It’s been a pleasure to work with you all and your support is greatly appreciated. Aware is looking forward to continue working with its volunteer base in the future to deliver arts based projects to help deliver sustainable and positive change.

To learn more about Aware and to find out how to volunteer please visit awareglobal.org

Advertisements
Categories: About AWARE, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Aware is… board member Gemma

 

gemma
Gemma joined Aware because she believes strongly in helping to provide opportunities and new skills for women. She’s been involved in development work only just this year since joining the Aware board and is really enjoying helping out. A part from this she is also the Fundraising Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and is really passionate about teaching young people about how they can create their own action on climate change. She also really loves penguins.

Categories: Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Aware is…board member Lily!

 

What’s your day job?

I’m a climate change campaigner with a focus in online engagement. You may have seen my around these parts as an AWARE volunteer where I helped with AWARE’s social media strategy and also with this blog!

What sparked your interest in Aware?

Many organisations focus on delivering basic needs to impoverished communities which is really important work, but what I liked about AWARE is the focus on supplying a voice to disenfranchised communities. That voice can be through poetry, painting, drawing, dance, sewing, acting, or however an individual expresses themselves – what drew me to AWARE was the ability to give and give recognition to disempowered people’s own voices.

Highlights so far?

So far my favourite part about being on the AWARE board is working with the rest of the board and director, Stacey; we dream about what AWARE can achieve. I’ve loved helping the organisation develop a more concrete vision and we’re beginning to outline goals for the next few years, which is just so exciting.

But the biggest highlight has been seeing the artwork that children in the Creative Sparks program create.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Aware is… Claire, Board Member

Hi there! My name is Claire and I am one of AWARE’s Board Members. I have the fun job of hearing all about what AWARE has been up to and helping to plot more great creative community initiatives.

What’s your day job?

At the moment I am finishing post-graduate studies in International and Community Development and deciding what my next day job should be. In a past life I worked for a Melbourne based human rights organisation and a women’s community development organisation on the Thailand Burma border. Before that I was an arts, culture and community development project managing, policy writing and researching bureaucrat.

What sparked your interest in Aware?

In short, it was AWARE Director Stacey! Her initiative, drive and enthusiasm are inspiring and contagious. Stacey really is being the change she wants to see in the world. I am glad to be involved in such a vibrant organisation and the good and interesting work it does in utilising creativity and partnership to support like minded people and organisations.

Highlights so far?

It has been great to meet a group of likeminded people at AWARE and work together on future plans for AWARE. I am looking forward being part of AWARE’s evolution and growth and hope you are too!

Categories: Stories from Volunteers | Tags: | Leave a comment

Aware is… Clancy, board member

 

 

 

 

Working on advocacy programs with displaced communities in the Solomon Islands and favela communities in Brazil,Clancy has seen the power of self expression as a tool to bring about change for marginalised communities. He currently works at Oxfam campaigning for food justice and poverty alleviation and teaches sustainability at RMIT University.  In his free time he plays guitar, gardens and dreams about surfing big waves with his long board.

Categories: Stories from Volunteers | Tags: | Leave a comment

Aware is… Damien, Board Member

Hi everyone! My name is Damien and I’m the Secretary on the Board of Directors.

For my day job, I am a research scientist in the field of weather and climate. At the moment I am studying for my PhD, looking at the climate of West Antarctica. Prior to my PhD, I was lucky enough to work for an AusAID funded program that assisted National Weather Services in Pacific island nations make better use of climate data. My time spent in developing island nations reinforced to me the importance of the work that Aware does with disadvantaged communities, both in Australia and abroad.
There are a lot of aid organisations out there, so I often get asked why I chose to get involved with Aware. Quite simply, it is because of the focus on creating positive change. Instead of simply providing disadvantaged communities with material goods, Aware aims to increase the self esteem and life skills of every participant in its programs. That’s not to say that material goods aren’t important, however through enhanced skills and self esteem communities develop the capacity to improve their situation for themselves, as opposed to relying on material aid.
In other words, Aware’s art-based programs are creating long term, sustainable change in a fun and innovative way. That’s why I’m proud to be on the Board of Directors, and that’s why I find our volunteers and participants so inspiring.

Categories: Stories from Volunteers | Tags: | Leave a comment

Creative Sparks

 

Last week we began our first ever Australian project and we are so excited.  Aware will, in conjunction with New Hope Foundation, be facilitating art workshops with children from refugee backgrounds in Melbourne’s outer west. The aim is to increase self-confidence through storytelling and building awareness about social issues facing recently arrived communities in Melbourne.

We are lucky to have studying art therapist Kristy Heffernan on board to run the workshops, with the help of Aware’s Director Stacey and volunteer Louella. Employing the theories of art therapy in a safe, fun and relaxed space is set to be an amazing experience!

 

Let’s meet Kristy!

What you are studying?

I am currently studying Transpersonal Art Therapy at Phoenix Institute. Art therapy is a therapeutic process in which people can engage with themselves, their lives, and their experiences without the need for constant dialogue like mainstream psychotherapy. Although talking can be a large part of art therapy, the creative process is in itself, the critical part of the healing experience for the participant. By expressing through creativity a person can access and express ‘unspoken’ ideas, memories and feelings in a gentle and safe way, with an experienced therapist present.

Why you wanted to volunteer with Aware?

When I was contacted by Aware I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. As an art therapist I was really drawn to the humanist, compassionate approach of aware within their projects. I also realized the great potential of using art with children from refugee backgrounds, as it allows for interaction and expression that transcends language barriers.

A little bit about the project?

I want to allow a space for the kids to feel free to express themselves and play. We will be using numerous mediums to explore their own experiences as a child in their community. We will concentrate on identity, creating opportunities for the children to tell their stories through their art. The children will be encouraged to show their interests, dreams and personalities through paint, pencil, pastel, collage, stickers and clay.   

What you expect the outcomes to be for the participants?

Fun! I want the children to have a lot of fun whilst getting the opportunity to explore a number of different mediums in art. I also hope to nurture feelings of pride and confidence in their own creativity and for them to feel safe in being themselves.

Categories: Australia, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aware is … Anna M., fundraiser

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to them!

What’s your role at Aware?

Hi, my name’s Anna and I am helping raise funds for a number of Aware’s projects, specifically organising market stalls to sell the wonderful bags, clothes, scarves and lots more made by the fabulous women at Dorsu Cambodia. We’re hoping to get out to a couple of markets in the next few of months so keep posted for the details.

What’s your day job?

I am studying a Masters of Social Work which is keeping me very busy at the moment but absolutely loving it.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

I was inspired by Stacey’s passion for the amazing organisation she had created. Also, looking at the huge success of past programs, and hearing some ideas for the new Melbourne based programs I wanted to help out in some small way.

What has been some of the highlights for you in volunteering for Aware?

Hearing stories from some of the programs in Kenya and Honduras, meeting the other volunteers and just getting involved in some of Aware’s fundraising events, whether that’s been having a beer with Karma Kegs or coming along to film nights. It’s been great to see such support for a fantastic organisation.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aware is…Anna K., Project Manager

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to them!

Image

What’s your role at Aware?
I am working on Aware’s first locally based project, Avenue, which
aims to provide a safe space in Melbourne’s CBD for homeless and disadvantaged young people to access creative programs.

What’s your day job?
I work in community engagement at a government agency. I design and implement strategies and programs to ensure that the people affected by the decisions of our government get to participate in the decision-making process.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?
Definitely the enthusiasm and energy of Stacey, Aware’s founder. There are many barriers to grassroots organisations making a real difference but Stacey’s commitment and perseverance has enabled fantastic results for Aware’s program partners and the people Aware’s projects aim to support.

What are you looking forward too?
I’m looking forward to seeing Aware expand its programs and impact both in Australia and overseas, with Avenue as well as our new Wool for Women project in Cambodia.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Aware is…Kat, Grant Writer

Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to them!

Image

What’s your role at Aware?

My name is Kat, and I have just started volunteering for Aware. I’ll be writing grant proposals to try and help get some of the new Melbourne-based programs off the ground, as well as occasionally contributing to the blog

What’s your day job?

Last year, I started a Masters of Integrative and Transformative Studies at Oases Graduate School in Hawthorn. The subjects I get to complete are very diverse, but many people are completing projects that are similar in a lot of ways to Aware. I have just finished up an administration job, and am taking a few weeks off to catch up with uni work before I find something new.

What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware?

I heard of Aware through Stacey, and was immediately interested. I have a strong belief in a holistic approach to combating problems of self-esteem and belonging; Aware does this so simply and effectively. I am very excited to have been invited to come along for the ride.

What has been some of the highlights for you in volunteering for Aware?

I’ve been struck by the drive and passion of Stacey and the other volunteers, and I have relished the reminder that if you work hard enough and want something bad enough, you can make it work. I hope to have some of my own stories to share in the future, but at the moment this feeling of possibility, however corny that sounds, is a massive highlight for me.

Categories: About AWARE, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.